Tunisian took break from travel agent job to shoot tourists

Policemen are pictured near damaged tiles inside the Bardo museum in Tunis March 19, 2015. Credit: Reuters/Anis Mili

(Reuters) – Shortly before he and a friend gunned down 20 foreign tourists at Tunisia’s Bardo museum, Yassine al-Abidi sat down to a breakfast of olive oil and dates with his family and left for work at his travel agency as usual.

His relatives, mourning his death in a hail of police bullets in the midst of the attack, said they could not understand how a lively, popular young man with a taste for the latest imported clothes could have done such a thing.

They said he was typical of the young men of Tunis’ Omrane Superieur suburb. He graduated in French, held down a job and showed no sign of the hardline Islamist ideology that would drive him to commit the worst militant attack in a decade.

But relatives said last year he had begun to spend more and more time at a local mosque, following a pattern of rationalization of Tunisian young men who then find themselves fighting in Syria, Iraq and Libya…

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  • Drunk_by_Noon

    This could hurt his business.

    • Ken

      I can’t top that.

  • BillyHW

    If only we had ended Israeli apartheid, this never would have happened.

  • Martin B

    “…he had begun to spend more and more time at a local mosque”

    How much confidence do you have that the local mosque in your neighbourhood isn’t breeding jihadists just like this guy?

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      Absolutely NONE!
      We don’t know, and without constant and ongoing surveillance, we have to take the word of people who may be wanting to kill us.

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    Rationalization?

    • guest

      … workplace violence?

  • Stronger Than Dirt

    Ah , he’ll be wandering around in a year or two … looking for a place to set up … a travel agency.

  • cmh

    stop blaming it on the mosque….it’s not the damn mosque that’s the problem….it’s the KORAN that’s the problem….ban the bloody thing.

  • Blacksmith

    Hmmm I wonder if we can make some kind of connection here…. What could possibly influenced him to do this…… Is there a common theme with other terrorist attacks in the world…….

  • John

    Watch what Tunisian authorities do with that mosque, its members and particularly its leadership. It could be a teaching moment for western pols.